Microloans that build credit at grassroots levels, where they are needed most.
Community Lending Circles provide infrastructure and a path to economic self-sufficiency by adapting one of the oldest grassroots economic strategies, the neighbor-to-neighbor loan. SBCC facilitates Lending Circles that comprise six members. Members make regular monthly payments into their Lending Circle and decide as a group which member will receive the available loan funds for that month. This basic structure (found in a wide variety of ethnic and cultural groups, especially in immigrant communities) is strengthened by SBCC staff, who provide assistance in budgeting, financial literacy, banking access, credit-score building and reporting, etc. We have also partnered with the Family Credit Union in Wilmington in order to link the Lending Circles to formal credit bureau loan reporting. Participants thus build a credit history which can open access to small business loans, personal credit, and even home ownership in a setting of face-to-face community relationships and trust.